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Archive for January 14th, 2012

Another datapoint on Egyptian Spring

Posted by Charles II on January 14, 2012

Peter Beaumont, The Guardian:

The Egyptian reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei has dramatically announced his withdrawal from the presidential race in protest at the ruling military council’s failure to put the country on the path to democracy.

The Nobel laureate, regarded as a driving force behind the movement that forced the former president Hosni Mubarak to step down, said the conditions for a fair election were not in place.

If conditions for a fair election are not in place, why has the US government recognized the recent parliamentary elections?

Posted in Arab Spring | 2 Comments »

Romney “Left” Bain Capital? Do Leopards Change Their Spots?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2012

So far, the most explosive opposition-research attack of the 2012 Republican presidential primary has been this video, “When Mitt Romney Came to Town”, done by former 2008 Romney campaign member Jason Killian Meath, depicting — complete with interviews of the persons affected — the devastation wrought on a South Carolina town by the firm Romney founded, Bain Capital:

The folks at FactCheck.org don’t like the video very much, and their main beef concerns the KY Toys angle:

As we mentioned above, the former Massachusetts governor left Bain in February 1999, almost two years before the firm bought KB Toys in December 2000. (Romney still may have benefited from the transaction. In a retirement agreement he negotiated with his former partners, Romney has continued to profit from Bain’s deals.)

Even FactCheck.org feels obligated to mention that Romney still is profiting from what Bain is doing.

Furthermore, there’s not much evidence to show that the stories of KB and of the residents of Gaffney would have had happier endings had Mitt Romney stayed with the firm. Bain and Romney are still quite simpatico; as this Politico piece points out, Bain is Romney’s biggest backer. William D. Cohan, who had extensive dealings with Bain and with Romney at Bain, closes his Washington Post piece on Romney and Bain with these words:

The real Bain way may be nothing more than a clever tactic to eliminate competition from a heated auction in order to buy a business at an attractive price. After all, Bain Capital is seeking the highest returns for its investors. But Bain’s behavior also reveals something about the values it brings to bear in a process that requires honor and character to work properly. If a firm’s word is not worth the paper it is printed on, then its reputation for bad behavior will impair its ability to function in an honorable and productive way.

I don’t know if Bain Capital still uses the bait-and-switch technique when it competes in auctions these days (I’m told that it doesn’t). But that was the way the firm’s partners competed when Romney ran the place. This win-at-any-cost approach makes me wonder how a President Romney would negotiate with Congress, or with China, or with anyone else — and what a promise, pledge or endorsement from him would actually mean.

[…]

I have no idea how Romney might behave in office. I do believe, however, that when he was running Bain Capital, his word was not his bond.

It begins to look like Romney “left” Bain like Cheney “left” Halliburton and Jack Welch “left” NBC: There’s not much discernible difference in the “before” and “after” shots.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Mossad, CIA, Jundallah: Hiding Behind Each Other To Commit Terrorism?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2012

Emptywheel directs our attention to this Foreign Policy article by Mark Perry:

According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah — a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.

Now, while US operatives are barred from dealing with Jundallah, Mossad operatives are not — a fact that Perry emphasizes.

But Emptywheel, sharp thinker that she is, senses a few odd things about this story:

Israelis and Americans have long hidden behind each other when working with Iranians, going back at least to the Iran-Contra ops that Dick Cheney had a fondness for. Hiding behind Israelis lets American officials pretend we’re not doing the taboo things we’re doing. Hiding behind Americans lets Iranian partners working with Israelis pretend they aren’t working with the Zionist enemy. That false flag business works in many different directions, after all.

Mind you, whatever the other purposes of this “false flag” story, its publication at this point in time just stripped Jundallah partners of the ability to deny they’re working with Israel, with all the probably dangerous consequences that will have.

As she further explains in her comments section, she wonders if it’s the FoPo article itself that’s a false flag:

I should probably be more explicit about what I think is going on here.

1) I believe we, the Iranians, and Jundallah’s immediate neighborhood are the targets of a current false flag op. The intent of that op is BOTH to foster the same story that State is telling implausibly now–that we haven’t had anything to do with the assassinations (though I think we DIDN’T with this very last one).

2) Such a false flag would create the story that ops the US WAS involved in were run entirely by Israel. (While I don’t doubt whatever involvement Israel has had–maybe training, which they’re good at–they maintained a convenient fiction they were Americans, but that’s not really a false flag.)

3) Such a story would not only give us plausible deniability, allow Iranian partners to continue to talk to us, but also would probably get some Jundallah members killed for cooperating with the Zionist enemy. That would make it a lot harder for Israel and its American partners in warmongering to kill more Iranians, bc Jundallah members would pay a price for cooperating in such things.

It’s all very neat. A nice op, for whoever pulled it off.

[…]

@Jim White: To be clear, I think the false flag op is this article (though I’m agnostic about whether or not Perry knows that or not). The earlier stuff–whatever story the Americans and Israelis decided on to explain away their partnership with Jundallah (which I agree was probably heavily JSOC), yes that was and is deception.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »